- “Of course, the bees in the Far North are quite resourceful, and part of that resourcefulness comes from a strong bond between them and their keepers.” ―Deryn, when asked by a merchant why her honey tasted so good.
Deryn is a 21 year old female snow leopard who primarily has lived as a nomad past the age of 16, but is now planning to settle down in Fedoria where she hopes to finally be able to live past simply surviving on her honey and the good nature of others.
She is a Master Beekeeper, though when asked to provide credentials to back up this title she won't have an immediate answer, offering question to the credibility of her status, let alone the title's existence. However, she proves herself to be an expert apiarist, and one of the rare few in the entire world who have been catalogued as being Apimancers.
Deryn was orphaned as a snow leopard at an unknown age in a land she refers to as the Far North. She was fostered into a home by her Uncle Johann, though records have shown no blood relation whatsoever between the two, which would evidently point to the name Uncle simply being a pet term for her foster caregiver. Deryn learned beekeeping first from Johann, who had been a beekeeper himself since before he adopted Deryn. He taught her much of what she knows as a beekeeper, and gave her experience on his vast apiary. However, due to circumstances unknown to the the wiki, Deryn suddenly left her home at 16 years old and began travelling on the road with a hive full of her bees.
Deryn is a very ardent observer, finding content on simply watching and taking notes to learn. This doesn't mean she is opposed to taking part in the action herself, considering she has put herself in the field ever since her Uncle Johann taught her how to care for bees.
Her solitude in the Far North has contributed somewhat to her naïvety, but this is not to be taken as a sign of foolishness. Her years on the road and in nature have filled her with knowledge that would rival that of a midwife or even a doctor. With her combined experience in beekeeping, horticulture, and natural medicine, she is able to help as many people in need as she can, though this can be to her fault as she tends to put others before herself.
Deryn is a characteristically Lawful Good person. She exhibits traits of a person who follows the rules set forth by authorities, and doesn't try to make trouble for herself. However, she is not afraid to speak her mind and rebel against injustices, notably those committed by tyrannical powers or characteristically Evil characters.
She is very generous, and has even been noted refusing trade with merchants simply on her principle belief that everyone should be able to eat, even if they are unable to pay. This has proven to be her foil many times however, leaving Deryn with nothing to eat typically but her own honey.
Deryn as a Beekeeper
Like most beekeepers, Deryn employs countless methods and tools to care for her bees and to make sure they are in healthy condition. Unlike most beekeepers, she also has developed a couple unique tools for her art that is almost assuredly original inventions.
One of her most notable pieces of equipment is the beehive on her back, a simple miniature hive with 5 interlocking and restackable frames that house her bees, which are almost never out of arms reach of her body. The only two openings are the large lid on the top, so she is able to open it and inspect her hive, and the small ingress/egress hole at the backside for her honeybees to come and go freely. The hive is observed to be made of pine wood, with a thin layer of pitch applied to the "roof" of the hive (Possibly for waterproofing).
The second piece of equipment that is also unique to Deryn is her smoker staff. A long, cedar staff approximately seven feet in height and about 1.75 inches in diameter, this is Deryn's primary tool for calming her bees whenever they become agitated, be it from a looming presence, sharing Deryn's frustration, and even early premonitions of future events. At the top of the staff is the smoker body, a wrought-copper container with a small opening to direct the flow of smoke and a steel heat guard around the body. Connected to that is a piece of leather tubing, which coils down half the length of the staff and is attached to a wooden bellows, which Deryn pumps every few moments to feed the smoldering fuel inside the smoker air to burn. On occasion, she'll attach flowers to the top of the staff as a general decoration and perhaps as a way to calm her bees further.
Deryn and Her Bees
She cares for them deeply, like a mother would care for her children. Due to the unique group intellect of her bees, they ultimate are able to reciprocate the emotions that Deryn has, though this is still being disputed as whether this is because they are capable of simple mimicry or if they in fact have an emotional bond with Deryn (When asked by wiki editors, Deryn claimed the latter).
Deryn's bees are a unique breed all of their own. While still possessing key traits of the common insect Apis Mellifera, Deryn's bees have been bred for their environmental hardiness, remarkably rapid brood rearing rate (Typical worker hatches in 21 days, Deryn's breed hatches in 12 hours), and rapid honey production.
Deryn rarely finds herself in violent conflict, but when the rare need arises, she can direct her bees into a focused attack on a stronger character, or a devastating spread attack on multiple lighter characters. Despite having a unique command over her bees, Deryn doesn't care to employ it if she does not readily require their assistance. Rather, she allows them to freely come and go as they please, like a beekeeper would allow with a stationary hive. No matter where Deryn is, the bees will always find their way back to the hive since it is marked with their pheremones, and Deryn's natural apimancer attraction.